Japanese, South Korean foreign ministers meet to improve relations

Tokyo, Jul 18 (EFE).- The foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea met Monday in Tokyo to discuss how to improve their bilateral relations in the face of historical and territorial conflicts.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and his South Korean counterpart met Monday at the Iikura Foreign Office in Tokyo, marking the first visit by a South Korean foreign minister to Japan since President Yoon Suk-yeol came to power in May.

The administration of the current South Korean president has shown interest in improving relations with the neighboring country and finding common positions on issues that affect both countries, such as North Korea’s weapons program, Seoul said before the trip.

Among the topics debated between the countries were historical disputes, such as the conflict of sexual slaves, euphemistically called “comfort women,” which has caused frequent friction between South Korea and Japan in recent decades. This has become a main strain in their relationship.

Park also gave his condolences to his Japanese counterpart after the death of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, according to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

The South Korean foreign minister is scheduled to stay in Japan until Wednesday, and said he wanted to hold a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Ties between the countries reached their lowest point in decades during the government of former South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Some hope the relationship could improve under the Yoon administration, which has saod the two countries are capable of simultaneously resolving “past and future issues.” EFE


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